| [ J
] = jazz concert
| [ C
] = classical recital
| [ J / C ] = combined jazz & classical programme
New York: Barge Music [J]
"A master of his instrument."
Premier bassoonist Daniel Smith, joined by
a band of key players (Daniel Kelly-piano, Michael
O’Brien-bass, Vincent Ector-drums), was able to
swing even harder than imagined thanks in part to
the choppy East River rocking the barge. There’s very
little surprise in saying that Smith is a master at his
instrument. He’s also funny, shooting out jokes and
goofing around with the band. Only a confident veteran
could easily handle something as distracting as a
perpetually moving stage.
The evening started with Tommy Dorsey’s 'I’m
Getting Sentimental Over You,' which served as a
warm up for the rich interpretation of 'Killer Joe'.
His band mates were stellar, sounding as if they
played together for decades. As a unit, they were
joyful to experience, from O’Brien’s expressions
and energy, Ector’s cool drummer attitude, Kelly’s
ever-nimble fingers, to Smith’s classic anecdotes. The
music was enriched by the individual styles and personalities.
Count Basie’s 'Hay Burner' was evidence
of O’Brien’s gift of being a dream blend of jazz and
classical technique rolled into one musician.
Smith strove to assist those more familiar with
his classical life by giving comparisons and analogies
regarding jazz: “Basie is to Monk as Bach is to Bartok”
and “Charlie Parker was a Mozart that comes
along every century” - which may have soothed some
concerned attendees. The first set closed with Lee
Morgan’s “Mr. Kenyatta”. Bassoon and bass blended
beautifully, taking away the longing for the trumpet.
As is commonplace among bassoonists, the reed
popped out and in true fashion, Smith popped it
back in place and kept going, barely missing a beat.
The second set opened with Mercer Ellington’s
'Things Ain’t What They Used to Be'. Once again,
witnessing the strength of O’Brien’s fingers as he
played a bluesy solo was intriguing. His bow work on
the challenging Parker composition 'Billie’s Bounce'
was outstanding. Guest guitarist Sandro Albert had a
colorful solo in Sonny Rollins’ “St. Thomas”. Ector’s
fluid rhythms were a good match for Albert’s style.
A patron whispered that Kelly had the same
ability as Monty Alexander to make the piano almost
sound like a steel drum. Taking a little time to listen
during Horace Silver’s 'Sister Sadie' and the observation
had some validity. The evening ended with Mingus’
'Better Get It in Your Soul', and Smith’s fusion
of the two worlds of music was complete.
Even if the bassoon were not one’s preferred
instrument of choice, it would at least earn greater
respect by the end of Smith’s performance. The most
interesting observation of the entire evening was that
the more intensely the band played, the more actively
the barge rocked. While at times this proved to be a
tad unsettling, the discomfort was tolerable due to
the pleasure of the two sets. Besides, what’s a little
motion sickness for the love of good jazz?}
-Layla Macoran, Jazz Inside Magazine March, 2010
Thame Concert Jazz Club, Thame, Oxford,
UK. [ J ]
THAME (pronounced tame) is a charming
old market town in the county of Oxfordshire, close to the Chiltern
Hills and just 14 miles east of Oxford, UK. This week, the town
was anything but tame when jazz bassoonist DANIEL SMITH
and THE JONATHAN GEE TRIO appeared at JAZZ EDDIES CONCERT
JAZZ event in Thame Concert Jazz Club.
Jazz bassoon? Well - why not?! As a bassoon player myself, I have
the greatest admiration for Daniel Smiths expertise and musicianship
with this unique sounding beautiful instrument. As Daniel points
out to the audience there is no role model for the jazz bassoonist.
He gave an excellent demonstration of how to bend notes and made
the comment that classically trained musicians and those who know
nothing about jazz tell him he is sometimes out of tune when playing
jazz bassoon. What Daniel actually does is bend notes and inflect
like a tenor saxophone player. This is a foreign sound to our ears
and heard live on stage is wonderful. Jazz HAS to be
heard live. Listening to a CD can never ever replace the excitement
of that moment when you hear and watch talented folk play right
in front of you. That magical moment can never be repeated.
However, next best thing has to be owning Daniels latest CD
The Swingin Bassoon.
Buy it. Listen to it and then go and hear him play live.
The evening just got better and better. Daniel was superbly supported
by Jonathan Gee on keyboard, Steve Rose on double bass and Winston
Clifford on drums. The Jonathan Gee Trio have been working together
for several years performing at jazz venues and festivals throughout
the UK & Europe. They have played regularly at Ronnie Scotts
Club in London and supported many great players.
If jazz bassoonist Daniel Smith comes to play in your back yard
- go and hear him. Youve never heard anything like it before!
- Catriona M M Webster
Born in the USA, Daniel Smith, spent his early
years listening to the great giants of jazz such as Count Basie
in his home town New York City.
Classicallly trained, he has with this background,
sucessfully crossed over seamlessly to the jazz world with his mastering
of a cumbersome and somewhat ungainly instrument 'the bassoon.'
The audience was spellbound with the lovely lyrical
and warm tonal quality daniel smith achieved from his deep voiced
instrument playing great jazz standards. Indeed, I was so impressed
with his new cd, he kindly gave me, that I played three tracks,
something I have never done before.
Daniel was ably backed up with pianist Jonathan
Gee on keyboards, Steve Rose on double bass and Winston Clifford
on drums, who made an altogether delightful evening of jazz at Jazz
Eddies great venue at Thame, Oxon, England.
-Dave Self, Radio Jazz Presenter &
Producer / tvu . Blast 1386. (On the web) & Stoke Mandeville
With an unusual instrument
for jazz, he captivated the audience in a crowded hall
on both nights
the American artist Daniel Smith
left an unforgettable impression in our City, the way
only great stars can do!
Director, Jazz Festival, Ciutat Vella
THE GERRY MULLIGAN OF THE
Daniel was recently showcased at Londons
prestigious jazz club Pizza On The Park for two
consecutive evenings. Billed as the Gerry Mulligan of
the Bassoon, read below what critics had to say about
Mr. Jazz Bassoon...drew
a bigger crowd than ever
Daniel in full
flight at the Pizza On The Park, London
Returning for his fifth engagement at Londons Pizza
On The Park, Daniel Smith drew a bigger crowd than ever, so clearly
word is getting around. The main thing to report is that his playing
is also better than ever. Playing with a noticeable sense of style
and ease, and confident in his abilities to make the bassoon into
a real jazz voice, he keeps on growing in stature as a jazz artist.
It has been said that Daniel Smith is to the bassoon what James
Galway is to the flute or John Williams to the guitar. Soon it will
not be necessary to make such comparisons. It will be Mr.
Jazz Bassoon and it will be said of others that they are to
their instrument what Daniel Smith is to the bassoon.
Reviewer, Inflight Magazine
Along the pathway to
(bass), Matt Home (drums) and Daniel. Bruce Boardman was the pianist.
If youve never heard a bassoon swinging,
nows your chance! Daniel Smith was showcased in two consecutive
nights of jazz at Londons 'Pizza On The Park'. We caught the
first night and can report substantial changes from when we last
heard him a year or so ago. His playing is surprisingly more fluent
on up-tempo numbers, hes good at be-bop, and his tone has
changed to a more hip sound. The programme included many tunes from
the standards songbook. Perhaps the most satisfying of the evening
was Out of Nowhere, where he stretched out in
several choruses, playing a distinctive and continuous line of improvisation
which was enthusiastically received by the crowd.
All in all, Daniel is progressing nicely along
the pathway to worldwide acclaim. This was an unusual and satisfying
evening which points the way to the continuing development of a
unique talent - and sound - in jazz.
A unique and powerful voice
in the world of jazz
performing with some of the top jazz players in Scotland: Brian
Kellock (piano), Ronnie Rae (bass) and Alyn Cosker (drums).
Even the most knowledgeable jazz fans in
the audience at the Queen Charlotte Rooms were treated to something
completely different the bassoon as a lead instrument in
a jazz band. The occasion was a performance by a genuine virtuoso,
Daniel Smith. With a huge reputation in the world of classical music,
he is now building a very deserved reputation as a unique and powerful
voice in the world of jazz. A repertoire ranging from classic ballads
to hard bop, all handled in his distinctive manner, with, of course,
a very distinctive sound. To anyone who may doubt the suitability
of such an instrument for this music, I can do no more than say:
Go and hear him for yourself!
Director, Edinburgh Jazz Projects
Complete command of the bassoon
at Duff House for classical recital, accompanied by Graham McNaught
complete command of the bassoon enabled his listeners to appreciate
for the first time the versatility and sound of an instrument
more frequently heard within the orchestra. Provided the Duff
House audience with a delightful programme of music from Mozart
Charles J. Burnett
Chamberlain, Duff House Concerts
Highlight of the festival!
Abandon all preconceptions of the
limitations of the bassoon. In Daniel Smith's hands this is an instrument
that plays upon the soul. His jazz concert was a highlight of the
Festival promoter, Glasgow 'City of Love' Festival
| The Tron Theatre band:
Dave Milligan (piano)
Brian Shiels (bass)
Alyn Cosker (drums)
JAMMING WITH JAMEY...
Daniel with Jamey
Aebersold (3rd from left).
Daniel digs in!
appearance at Jamey Aebersold's Jazz Clinic in Richmond was one of
the highlights of the evening. Playing alongside Jamey's top notch
band (which also included pianist Dan Haerle and bass player
Todd Coolman), Daniel was featured on two numbers and treated
the audience to excellent solos on Sonny Rollins' Doxy and
the Duke Ellington signature tune Take The 'A' Train (written
by Billy Strayhorn).
LONG MELFORD [ J ]
One doesnt automatically associate the bassoon with jazz music
and to those of us more attuned to the instrument as Grandfather in Peter
and the Wolf this Saturday evening concert was something of a culture
shock and a revelation! In the hands, literally, of world-acclaimed
virtuoso Daniel Smith who combines an extensive classical repertoire
with his pioneering work in the field of jazz the instrument had
all the fluency this style of music demands. Favourite numbers from the
pens of greats such as Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke
Ellington, Charlie Parker, Count Basie and Miles Davis all got the treatment
from Daniel with his talented colleagues Steve Smith (UK) on drums,
Russell Swift on bass and Sean Whittle at the piano. Daniel talked about
the instrument and demonstrated very convincingly that a bassoon can be
the equal of a clarinet or saxophone in this medium. This ensemble gave
us jazz music of the very highest order in a most enjoyable and memorable
-Ken Nice, Asst. Treasurer, Melford Music, 15 August 2023
WOLVERHAMPTON MUSIC SOCIETY
As James Galway is to the flute, so Daniel Smith is to the bassoon! Ranging
in the course of two hours from the formality of baroque to an exciting
jazz session, interspersed with helpful but uncondescending details about
this shamefully underestimated instrument, the recital was a revelation
in every way. Thanks, Daniel, for reminding us what true joy can feel
- John Higgs Trustee, City of Wolverhampton Music Society
CHESTER MUSIC SOCIETY [ J / C ]
In the hands of Daniel Smith. the bassoon took on a new character. Backed
by the talented and enthusiastic members of BASSOON AND BEYOND, he proved
that great jazz is enhanced by this unusual combination. For those with
preferences for classical playing, the concert was an opportunity to hear
it performed by a superb classical bassoonist. Our audience comments were
very favourable and we hope to have the chance to hear this wonderful
artist again in the future.
- Geoffrey Hallett, Honorary Secretary
WEST WIGHT ARTS ASSOCIATION [ C ]
Our Christmas concert programme was something very special and fulfilled
our goal that "West Wight Arts brings the Wigmore Hall to the Isle
of Wight.'' As befits a musician of such experience, Daniel Smith's witty
and informative introductions and his varied programme of classical selections
fulfilled our every expectation in this respect. It was a wonderful and
successful evening of music and gave our patrons an appreciation for this
most difficult and unusual of instruments.
- Keith Brettell, Hon. Treasurer
HARLINGTON FESTIVAL [ J ]
Daniel Smith is clearly a very talented musician who has developed
a new role for the bassoon as a solo instrument. A capacity audience heard
music from many styles, including be-bop, swing, blues and ballads and
composers ranging from Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins to Duke Ellington.
His quartet was most interesting to watch and listen to; clearly having
fun and responding to each other's individual musical talents.
- Michael and Vivien Powles
MACCLESFIELD MUSIC SOCIETY [ J / C ]
With Daniel Smith, the bassoon as a solo instrument becomes something
magical. His varied classical programme for the first half of the concert,
with timely introductions, was an eye-opener and a delight. But a bassoon
playing jazz? Can this be true? Indeed it was, with the unique sound of
the instrument bringing a new dimension to the world of jazz while raising
the tempo of the second half of the evening in more ways than one! The
audience loved it!
- Shirley Jarvis, Concert Secretary
LYTHAM ST. ANNES MUSIC CIRCLE [ J / C ]
In an evening of music divided between classical and jazz, our audience
was treated to a broad spectrum of music, ranging from Elgar, Mozart,
Verdi and Vivaldi and onto many exciting jazz pieces. In the jazz segment
of the programme, Daniel Smith's bassoon triumphantly led his quartet
with infectious, foot tapping and brilliant music. Improvisation at its
best; a visible joy for the audience with wide-ranging selections from
blues to Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker
- John Simpson, President
SOWERBY MUSIC SOCIETY, North Yorkshire [ J / C ]
Splendid jazz arrangements matched by the immaculate playing and glorious
tone of Daniel Smith's bassoon in a wide and varied programme of classical
and jazz. BASSOON AND BEYOND was a joy and a revelation. This was not
just an evening for the jazz connoisseur, it was an evening for music
lovers of all kinds and ages. And love it they did!
- Martin Hooper, Concerts Secretary
ABBOTSBURY MUSIC FESTIVAL, Dorset [ C ]
An enthusiastic audience filled the beautiful 16th Century church of St.
Nicholas where Daniel Smith entertained them with a strikingly diverse
programme. As well as displaying an extraordinary command of his instrument,
he communicated his enthusiasm with explanations for each piece of music.
Daniel Smith's performance demonstrated the astonishing range and power
of the bassoon, which in his hands took on a rare individuality and charm.
- Francesca Radcliffe, Chairman
AYLSHAM CONCERTS, Holt [ J ]
Aylsham Concerts introduced another 'first' with Daniel Smith and BASSOON
AND BEYOND. The audience was treated to a concert of first-rate jazz and
an illuminating insight into the musical capabilities of the bassoon.
It was a joyous introduction to an unusual combination and we plan to
have the pleasure of a return engagement with Daniel Smith soon.
Derek Ardern, Chairman
STRATHDEE MUSIC AT ABOYNE [ J / C ]
After hearing outstanding classical artistry during the first half of
the programme, the concept of then hearing amplified bassoon performing
jazz had people shaking their heads in uncomprehending disbelief. Daniel
Smith, the acclaimed bassoonist from New York expanded our aural experience
with a display of virtuosity which really had people talking afterwards.
Hearing a bassoon swing with this truly great musician, implausible though
it might sound, was just amazing.
- Owens Jenkins, Deeside Piper
BOSTON CONCERT CLUB [ C ]
An interesting and entertaining evening last Tuesday when the American
bassoonist Daniel Smith gave a recital for the Boston Concert Club. Daniel
has a mission to make his instrument better known, something I applaud.
The programming combined works composed for bassoon and piano, transcriptions
from other instruments with piano, and also arrangements. We were informed
about the instrument between pieces in a friendly fashion and there was
generous applause at the end with an encore to follow
- Brenda Lane, Boston Standard
THE QUAY THEATRE [ J ]
It was a privilege and a great pleasure to have Daniel Smith with BASSOON
AND BEYOND on our series. Delightful jazz arrangements complemented the
virtuoso playing of Daniel Smith and his talented accompanists. One of
our patrons, a jazz enthusiast for over 40 years, said that it was the
most enjoyable evening of music he had ever experienced, to which I agree.
- Richard Way, Director
| PIZZA ON THE PARK, London [ J ]
With his quartet BASSOON AND BEYOND, Daniel Smith gave an elegant
performance at Londons Pizza On The Park, showing
that the bassoon can not only make convincing jazz but that it
can make sounds of great beauty. His musical voice is fluent and
he has obviously listened much to Getz, Rollins and Coltrane.
His formidable technique means that he can take up-tempo numbers
confidently and has some pretty furious runs to display. Go and
hear him! This is a unique voice in jazz.
- Dick Laurie, HOT NEWS
Bassooner The Better' Daniel Smith, the internationally
recognized virtuoso of the instrument. is bringing the bassoon
into greater prominence with his jazz quartet BASSOON AND BEYOND.
His deep, doleful tone brought a new dimension to many familiar
jazz classics, while making full use of his dexterity, delivering
impressive runs on such up-tempo pieces such as 'A Night In Tunisia'
and a fascinating rendition of' Blue Monk'.
- Keith Howell, JAZZ EXPRESS
Bassoon virtuoso Daniel Smith can make his difficult instrument
dance like Gerry Mulligan's baritone sax; backed by his acclaimed
jazz quartet BASSOON AND BEYOND and the talented members of this
group on piano, bass and drums.
- Jack Massarik, LONDON EVENING STANDARD
'Gigs Not To Have Missed'. Acclaimed bassoonist Daniel Smith
was making jazz history with great renditions of Horace Silver's
'Sister Sadie and 'Peace' in his repeat engagement at London's
Pizza On The Park. Looks like a rocket launcher but
sounds like Gerry Mulligan.
- Jonathan Abbott, BOZ
See the reviews and photos of
Daniel's last visit to Pizza On The Park
WESTERN MAIL, Wales [ J ]
In it's third year, the Aberystwyth Jazz Festival is making a name
for itself in the jazz world - the arrival of talented bassoonist Daniel
Smith confirms the fact. Smith is well known for his jazz arrangements
of traditional Welsh, English, Scottish and Irish tunes.
- Elaine Jenkins
ABERDEEN PRESS AND JOURNAL [ J ]
'Bassoon bravado backed by red-hot jazz playing' Daniel Smith's performance
for Strathdee Music at Aboyne certainly shook the dust of any preconceptions
the audience might have had. We were in another world as Daniel and his
quartet gave us a selection of fantastic jazz classics. Smith's bassoon
encompassed the smooth sounds of jazz trombone and sax meshed in with
his own special sound.
DEESDIE PIPER, Aberdeen [ J ]
Don't knock the bassoon ever again! The concept of amplified
bassoon performing jazz might have some people shaking their heads in
uncomprehending disbelief. Daniel Smith, the acclaimed bassoonist from
New York, expanded our aural experience with a display of virtuosity which
really had people talking afterwards. Hearing a bassoon swing with this
truly great musical pioneer, implausible though it might sound, was just
- Owens Jenkins
THE REGISTER , California
Gunther Schuller's contrabassoon concerto daringly offered by Daniel
Smith...challenged the audience with as uncommon a performance as they'll
ever hear...musicianship which is of the highest order...
- Bill Akers
DILIGENTIA HALL, The Hague, Netherlands [ C ]
Bassoon recitals are rare and Daniel Smith demonstrated that he
thoroughly had this unruly instrument under control. Mozart's second bassoon
concerto (attributed to) sounded very pure and in full command
- Kunst, Het Vanderland.
DILIGENTIA HALL, The Hague, Netherlands [ C ]
A bassoon recital we do not hear often in our country, Diligentia
(Hall) had the honor. The expressivity of the bassoon came through especially
in the 'Romance' of Elgar and in the 'Six Etudes' of R. Vaughan Williams.
Smith showed fine expertise.
-Besier, Het Binnenhof
THE ATALIER, Brussels, Belgium [ C ]
From the first measures, one is struck by the singing quality of
the bassoon. This truly was an accomplishment of dynamism, of gaiety,
and of enthusiasm. The performance was a special treat.
TELEROMA, Rome, Italy [ C ]
Daniel Smith has appeared as soloist in many Italian cities, obtaining
great success on the part of the public and the press. He possesses a
very beautiful tone, has innate musicality and complete mastery of his
instrument, impeccable rhythm and exceptional interpretative qualities.
It is with great pleasure that I write these comments about this noted
Prof. Michele Incenzo,
Primo Clarinetto, Orchestra Sinfonica Accademia Nazionale S. Cecilia
TELEROMA, Rome, Italy [ C ]
An impressive performance by bassoonist Daniel Smith, soloist in
the Carl Maria von Weber Bassoon Concerto. Performed with the Rome Festival
Orchestra, conducted by Edgar Braun.
-International Daily News
RYEDALE FESTIVAL [ J / C ]
We always try to provide unique musical experiences at the Ryedale
Festival and the sound of Daniel Smith's jazz bassoon was certainly that!
The audience was delighted with the classical and "crossover" into
jazz; this foot tapping event was the talk of the festival.
- Malcolm Layfield, Ryedale Festival Director